Trade hopes lift Wall Street to records

Wall Street's main indexes closed at record levels for a third straight day in a muted volume session on Wednesday ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, as fresh data pointed to an economy on solid footing, while investors remained cautiously optimistic about a resolution to U.S.-China trade tensions.

U.S. economic growth picked up slightly in the third quarter, rather than slowing as first reported, and a steady increase in consumer spending in October indicated the economy will probably maintain its moderate pace of growth in the fourth quarter.

"From a macro perspective, it really sits with the narrative of this growing but continue to slow environment," said Bill Northey, senior investment director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

"It averted some of the greater concerns that this might be something more than just a slowdown to trend that we've been facing over the past quarter."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 42.32 points, or 0.15 percent, to 28,164; the S&P 500 gained 13.13 points, or 0.42 percent, to 3,153.65; and the Nasdaq Composite added 57.24 points, or 0.66 percent, to 8,705.18.

Consumer discretionary stocks SPLRCD rose 0.83 to lead all sectors.

VCG Photo

VCG Photo

The main indexes have repeatedly scaled to record levels this month on trade truce hopes, a third-quarter earnings season that topped lowered expectations and a dovish federal reserve. The S&P 500 has now closed at a record level in five of the past nine sessions.

Trading volumes were among the lowest of the year for a full-day session ahead of the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday. The stock market will close early on Friday.

The S&P 500 posted 44 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq Composite recorded 117 new highs and 35 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 5.57 billion shares, compared to the 7.06 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

U.S.-listed Chinese firms trade mostly higher

U.S.-listed Chinese companies traded mostly higher on the day, with seven of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index ending the day on a positive note.

Shares of Alibaba Group Holding and TAL Education Group rose 3.14 percent and 2.89 percent respectively, leading the gainers in the top 10 stocks of the index.

Shares of Pinduoduo and Yum China Holdings fell 3.03 percent and 0.88 percent respectively, leading the losers in the top 10 stocks of the index.

(With input from Reuters and Xinhua)